Three out of 10 college students reported that stress had a negative impact on their academic performance, according to the 2018 National College Health Assessment. Instead of ignoring stress, let’s embrace it, acknowledge it, and attempt to relieve at least some of it!! While you will inevitably encounter stress during your college years, it’s important to learn how to manage it when it arises. If left unattended, stress can impact not only your grades, but also your overall mental health and well-being. To help you out, the Wily Network has compiled our top 10 favorite tips for handling stress at school. Hopefully they help or at least give you a break from studying!
1. Practice Healthy Stress Management.
Junk food and social media breaks are quick fixes… in moderation. Stress can last for weeks. That’s why you want to adopt sustainable stress management techniques that will help you in the long run. Keep on reading for some suggestions!
2. Get outside.
Although studying in bed can be comfy cozy, it makes a world of difference to take a break and get some FRESH AIR!! It doesn’t have to be a jog down the Charles–just a walk around the block or to grab a bite to eat can clear your head and wake you up a bit!
3. Put down the coffee.
While coffee might seem like your best friend during midterms, numerous studies have linked caffeine consumption to increased levels of stress. If you can’t go cold turkey, aim to limit your consumption to just one cup a day.
4. Meet up with a friend.
One of the best parts about college is that friends are never far away. Find that friend who will motivate you, but not distract you too much, and maybe even provide the occasional meme exchange or laugh. Social interaction is a nice way to relieve some pressure and take your eyes off screens and books.
5. Catch up on sleep.
All-nighters may seem like the solution to your cram sesh, but no good ever comes from exhaustion during an exam!! It is much better to get some sleep and wake up early to study! Sleep deprivation makes it harder to retain information. Make sure you’re getting at least seven hours of sleep to minimize your chances of blanking on a test question.
6. Watch puppy videos.
Yes, puppy videos are good all the time, but they are BETTER when you’re knee-deep in studying. Seriously, a study done by Deborah Wells found that watching videos of animals encourages relaxation. No need to feel guilty next time you watch funny videos of cats and dogs!
7. Remember your purpose.
Why are you taking this class? What do you want to get out of college? Where do you want to be in five years? The answers to these questions may help motivate you to persevere through tough tests and long papers.
8. Turn off your screens.
Studies have found that regular computer use without breaks can lead to higher levels of stress and sometimes headaches. Netflix and social media might be tempting, but make sure to also schedule some screen-free time to minimize stress and clear your head.
9. Get organized.
Organization doesn’t just mean planning your calendar, it also means getting into a healthy routine. Even simple things like a regular sleep schedule and cleaning your dorm room can promote stability and get you in the right headspace for study sessions.
10. Appreciate your progress.
It’s easy to forget how hard you’ve worked to get to this point, so take a minute to appreciate the incredible progress you’ve made so far. Sometimes making a checklist of stuff you can easily do and crossing them right off can be a nice source of relief.
Taking time away from the books may seem counterintuitive when you’re overwhelmed with readings and tests, but sometimes it’s the best thing you can do for yourself. Stress is a normal part of the college experience, but with the right techniques you can successfully manage it and thrive under the pressure.